TAMPA — In all actuality, they really weren't even supposed to be there.
But there was Indian Rocks Christian, squaring off against archrival Tampa Prep in a Class 2A, Region 3 semifinal. And for a team that lost eight seniors from last year, just being in that position was a positive.
Unfortunately, it was the Golden Eagles' lone positive on the evening Tuesday night.
With Tampa Prep's dominant hitters up front and little blocking from Indian Rocks Christian, Tampa Prep posted a 25-15, 25-14, 25-15 victory.
"A lot of people wrote us off this season," said IRC coach Mark Foster. "We lost eight seniors from last year but we had some improvement this season. We had played them (Tampa Prep) better the last two games so to come out and play worse is disappointing."
Indian Rocks Christian (21-8) opened the match with a 6-1 lead and seem ready to reverse the trend set during the season when it was swept three times by the Terrapins (14-13).
But Tampa Prep quickly rallied, got the score back to 10-all, then went on a 15-5 run to take the first game and set the tone for the rest of the match. The Golden Eagles led again only one time the rest of the way.
Indian Rocks was led by sophomore outside hitter Marisa Moralobo's eight kills and six digs.
Senior hitter Kenzie Reynolds added eight kills and junior setter Rachael Jones had 22 digs.
Tampa Prep was led by senior hitter Alena Ransom's 10 kills and senior middle hitter Dana Malinowski's seven kills, 11 digs and four service aces. Libero Anna Delence added nine digs and setter Caroline Dillabough had 28 assists.